Ah, Spanish food – tapas, paella, various (myriad, really) types of thinly-sliced pork products, incredible cheeses…and so, so much more, as we quickly discovered. After settling in to our adorable, extremely well-located apartment (thank you, Airbnb sublets), we turned our attention to getting out of it.
Our first meal was just what we needed after three flights and a taxi ride: simple but delicious (and affordable) tapas and a liter of sangria three blocks from the flat courtesy of Restaurant Colom. Bread with tomato (a national staple), asparagus with potatoes and red pepper sauce, garlic shrimp served still sizzling in a mini-cast iron pan, potato croquettes stuffed with meat, and lightly blistered padrón (read: shishito) peppers were perfectly complemented by the sweet, fruity sangria.
Our first full day in the city brought more adventures in food and exploration. First, we enjoyed a truly delightful brunch at Milk, a tiny and crowded ex-pat owned café (Crab benedict! “Mediterranean toast!” Mimosas!) where the service was quick and the food was ultra fresh. Later, Joe thought he’d gone to heaven at Bier Cab, a real, honest-to-God beer bar (and bottle shop!) complete with 30 beer taps (lots of sour beers, too!), delicious Catalonian tapas, and gourmet burgers. The servers were helpful and friendly and the place was hoppin’. Joe was particularly excited to find so many varied and international taps so close to our new home. His Untappd blew up that night.
Sunday (our 2nd full day) brought further exploration of the city – that is, after sleeping in to the appropriate Sunday “morning” hour of 1pm. Thank you, jet lag (also, possibly, due to the fact that I dragged Joe back out for “one more drink” at 11:30pm –when in Barcelona…). When we did make it out the door, the sun was shining, and the people were out in force – and it seemed that the majority of them were actually on the beach. They sat on blankets in sweaters, boots, coats, hats and pants (note: the people of Spain do NOT enjoy cold/chilly/brisk weather). It was just packed! I adored seeing all the families spending time together – kids, grandparents, parents, (probably) cousins, all together enjoying the weather and people watching. Lining the beach, chic cafes were full to bursting with beautiful people sipping cava and sangria, their half-full wine glasses glinting in the bright sun. The patrons basked and reveled in this relaxed, Sunday-funday environment.
On our way back home, we stopped at one of the little street cafes (small, high-peaked tents serving tapas and beverages with a handful of tables out front) we’d passed along the way and had a snack and half a liter of sangria (they measure their sangria in liters here, claro) – because the entire city sits outside and has tapas and sangria in the late afternoon. It was blissful. All in all, a pretty stellar 48 hours of food and drink!